Army Engineer Research and Development Center Awards SynBio Contract

CERL researchers understand that sample analysis is crucial to refining experimental operating conditions. (Photo by ERDC)

The US Army Corps of Engineers, Engineer Research and Development Center (ERDC) has announced intentions to issue an award on a sole source basis to Science Policy Consulting, LLC to identify potential environmental exposure and hazards that may arise from testing or deployment of new SynBio technologies.

The company will be tasked with identifying and assessing risks and mitigation measures in accordance with U.S. biotechnology regulatory policy.


Samples taken at field locations or those generated in bench, pilot, and demonstration scale experiments require evaluation and may contain combinations of solids, liquids, and gases of organic and inorganic nature. Often, the composition is unknown. Analysis of unknown samples at contract laboratories presents a special problem because contract documents must specify which methods to use, as well as which compounds are to be identified and the detection limit required. Analytical support turnaround time can be crucial when sample analysis is being used to determine and refine experimental operating conditions.

The Synthetic Biology and Environmental Chemistry Laboratories, located at the ERDC Construction Engineering Research Laboratory (CERL), provide analytical support for US Army research projects and for situations where outside work is prohibitively expensive due to non-routine analyses. Based on these requirements, CERL scientists work in a dynamic and flexible manner in experiment design, method development, and research direction to best analyze and answer research questions.

At this facility, CERL scientists use advanced instrumentation to perform basic and applied research at the nexus of chemistry, biology and materials science. This helps address US Army and civilian agency challenges in sensing, synthesis, remediation, energy and restoration, and:

  • Provides timely analyses of crucial samples
  • Performs exploratory analysis of materials of unknown composition
  • Develops specialized sample preparation techniques as required by specific projects

The intended procurement will be classified under North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) 541690 with a $15 million Small Business Size Standard (Solicitation Number: W81EWF63156441).

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